As the shutters closed on a business he'd built over seven and a half years, one shop owner in London decided to give passersby pause for thought.
The bike shop owner, Paul, locked up his business for the last time in Peckham, London, and left two messages - one for his customers and one for the general public - on his shutters.
His messages which were photographed and posted online have sparked a massive debate about shopping local versus shopping online.
"To the general public, for 2019 switch off your device, learn to talk to people again. Use your local shops."
"If it's cheaper online, save up and buy local, remember they are families not faceless companies."
"More convenient online? Don't be lazy and get it local. Do more to protect our society this year."
Messages from a just- closed local business in Peckham pic.twitter.com/IdfZZ7JoYO— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) January 5, 2019
In his other message, Paul thanked his long term customers and the local community "for taking us into your hearts".
It's a time in my life I will never forget. Thank you, Paul," he said.
On Twitter, a photo of Paul's messages has been shared over 1,200 times.
One woman responded: "Whenever I see a message like this, I can only answer: Yes, you are right up to a point, but have you e.g. tried to change your business hours? My main problem with supporting small local shops is that they are hardly ever open when I have time (I work full time)."
Another said: "Just been told that the bike shop I work in, will be closing in 6 months. Previous bike shop I worked in had been there for 20 odd years, I worked there for 7 years & last April the boss walked in & made us all redundant. It's difficult to compete with online prices."
While another wrote: "If I can get things cheaper for my kids I will. I can’t afford the prices that small businesses want unfortunately that’s the way things are and if you can get it cheaper online or in a big store then that’s what I’m going to do."